New York City V. Big Oil

The Story

Mayor de Blasio announced last week that New York City has filed suit against five major oil companies for having “caused” Superstorm Sandy. The city will seek to recoup tens of billions of dollars in damages and the cost of planned storm-resiliency measures from the companies. The likelihood that this fantastical litigation will ever proceed to trial, much less succeed, is extremely thin. The mayor should stop wasting public resources with such grandstanding and focus on managing the city.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. IPCC: Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that there is little evidence for “long-term (centennial) changes in tropical cyclone activity,” which could make it hard for the city to demonstrate that oil companies have caused more hurricanes. Read more.

  2. China: The mayor says that half of all greenhouse gas pollution has occurred since 1988 — but China has been the primary driver of that growth, not U.S. oil companies. Read more.

  3. Smokes: The mayor cites the 1998 tobacco settlement as a model for the city’s suit, but the analogy breaks down upon cursory inspection. Read more.

“Purveyors of ‘settled science’ implicitly offer a picture of the scientific community as inviolable dispensers of knowledge. Knowledge here is a product to be consumed by the lay public.”

Mark Mills, Manhattan Institute senior fellow

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Obama Declares War on Oil By Judith Miller (June 16, 2010)

“The president has it wrong. The BP oil spill is not, as he implied in last night’s speech, a new 9/11.”

And in other news...

“More police officers have been sent into the New York City subway to address the large number of homeless people sleeping on trains during cold winter nights, the police said.”